Minnesota Vikings Fan Guide, Schedule, Traditions

Minnesota Vikings Fan Guide image

The Minnesota Vikings franchise began in 1961 and has made its presence known with a league championship in 1969 (before the NFL-AFL merger). The Vikes have also appeared in four Super Bowl in the team’s first 16 years. In fact, the Vikings boast one of the highest winning percentages in the entire NFL since their inception.

Minnesota Vikings Fan Guide

In the early years, the Vikings played outside on the oft-frozen field of Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington, Minnesota, now home to the Mall of America. The team was a tough, gritty group led by its defense and mirroring the stoic strength of its head coach Bud Grant. Joe Kapp provided the rallying cry for the team with his “40 for 60,” referring to the team’s 40 players giving their all for 60 minutes.

The Purple People Eaters

The Vikings became known for their defense – the Purple People Eaters. Hall of Famers Allen Page and Carl Eller along with Jim Marshall and Gary Larsen made up the suffocating D-line. Hall of Fame quarterback Fran Tarkenton introduced a new style of play to the NFL: the scrambling QB. Together, they consistently made the playoffs each year and dominated the NFC for decades.

The Dome

The Vikings played for 32 years at the so-hideous-its-lovable Huburt H. Humphrey Metrodome. Opposing teams hated the rock-hard turf and the piped-in crowd noise (an unfounded rumor). The home team found the artifical environment just right for a fast-paced, gun-slinging offense featuring Randy Moss. However, four NFC Championship losses during this period brought heartache to fans and gave rise to talk of a Vikings curse.

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US Bank Stadium

Today the team plays in the world-class US Bank Stadium, built on the same location as the old Metrodome. The new facility allows light in through its glass ceiling. Large doors can be left opened on pleasant fall game days. The new stadium has energized the team and its fan base. Tailgating has returned as a tradition to game day. Expectations are high once again for the team and its potential as one of the best teams in the NFC.

Top Traditions

Despite an incredibly rich history in hockey, the Twin Cities are still ultimately a football town. Watching the Vikes on Sunday – either at the stadium or on TV – is still the biggest tradition, but here are a few more.

Blowing of the Gjallerhorn

The sounding of the Gjallarhorn announces the arrival of the gods, according to Norse legend. Each home game, a former player or local celebrity gets the honor of blowing the horn to start the game.

Viking World Order

Members of VWO are diehard Viking fans. They have sworn allegiance to their favorite team and bleed purple. You’ll know them by their Viking attire, body paint and passionate fandom.

Tailgating at the old Met Stadium

Metropolitan Stadium was built in the farm fields of Bloomington, Minnesota—far enough from downtown Minneapolis to provide plenty of room for parking, partying and tailgating before games. The game day experience started Sunday mornings with a grill, a cooler of cold beer and throwing a football around with your buddies in the parking lot. Today, the tradition lives on at the new US Bank Stadium.

Talking about the “Miracle in Minneapolis”

The Vikings cheer you need to know

The Skol Vikings Fight Song – The Skol Chant began when the Vikings moved into their new home, US Bank Stadium. Fans raise their hands and clap once after a drum beats, chanting “Skol!” The chant is repeated several times, increasing the pace each time and building momentum and drama until play is resumed.

“Skol” is the Norwegian/Swedish word for cheers or good health. Made popular by the Iceland soccer team in the 2014 World Cup, it can make for an intimidating chant if done properly with enough people.

Skol Chant

Best foods to eat at the game

  • Kramarczuk’s Sausage.
  • Skol Dog.
  • Ike’s Steak Sandwich.
  • Revival Fried Chicken.

Five Things to do in Minneapolis on Saturday

  1. Shop at the Mall of America.
  2. Walk around the Chain of Lakes.
  3. Visit Minnehaha Falls.
  4. Take in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.
  5. Check out the Minneapolis Institute of Art.

Best Rivalries

Vikes vs. Green Bay Packers

The Vikings number one rivalry is with the Green Bay Packers. Some Minnesotans say their two favorite teams are the Vikings and whoever is playing the Packers. The two teams have had many memorable meetings, including the season Bret Favre became a Viking and defeated his former team and the Randy Moss “mooning” game at Lambeau Field. Green Bay leads the all-time series 60-53-2.

Vikes vs. New Orleans Saints

A Vikings rivalry that is gaining momentum of late is with the New Orleans Saints. The teams have faced each other in NFC playoff games in 2009 (NFC title game) and the Minneapolis Miracle game in 2017. The games have featured controversy (Bounty-gate) and the first-ever walk off playoff win in the history of the NFL.

Vikes vs. Dallas Cowboys

It all began with the Whiskey Bottle Game, also known as the Drew Pearson Push Off Game. The Cowboys played at Met Stadium against the Vikings in a 1975 divisional playoff game. A last-second “Hail Mary” pass by Roger Staubach to wide receiver Drew Pearson won the game for the Cowboys. Minnesota fans jumped out of their seats in complete disbelief that no penalty for pushing off was called on Pearson. Replays show he clearly used his hand to gain space from cornerback Nate Wright. In the uproar that followed, referee Armen Terzian was hit in the head with an empty whiskey bottle chucked from an angry fan. To this day, some fans talk of the “Whiskey Bottle Curse” that keeps the Vikings from winning it all.

How to Talk Minnesotan

Start by listening to “A Prairie Home Companion” for dialect cues and general nordic temperament. Watch the movie “Fargo” for further inspiration.

Terms to use:

  • “Uff-da” Pronounced “Oof dah.” Use when exasperated.
  • “Yah” instead of “Yes.”
  • “Ya” can be substituted for “You” as in “How’d ya do?”
  • “Minn-eh-SOH-tah” is the usual pronunciation.
  • “Hot Dish” instead of casserole.
  • “Pop” instead of “Soda.”
  • “Duck, duck, gray duck” instead of “Duck, duck, goose.”
  • “You betcha” is a good way to indicate your approval.
  • “Oh for cute” is something Minnesota people say when looking at puppies.

Best Viking Twitter accounts to follow

  • Kirk Cousins – @KirkCousins8
  • Stefon Diggs – @stefondiggs
  • Darren Wolfson (1500 ESPN) – @DWolfsonKSTP
  • Mike Wobschall (Vikings.com) – @wobby
  • Minnesota Vikings Cheerleaders – @MVCheerleaders

Best Viking TV Commercials

Cool Viking Merchandise

The Vikings Helga Horns are actually a helga hat with attached horns and yellow-braided hair that extends down on each side of the wearer’s head. The look represents the Nordic Viking’s battle helmet and hair. Feel free to paint your face and add other adornments to give yourself and your favorite team the power of the Norse gods.

Best Jerseys of All-time

  • Randy Moss – He broke the mold for wide receivers. Bold and brash (see AFROS: America’s Favorite Receivers On Sundays)
  • John Randle – The face-painting, quarterback-eating, Hall of Fame defensive tackle.
  • Carl Eller – “Moose” was as tough and powerful as his namesake.
  • Allen Page – The Judge. Smart and lanky (compared to today’s NFL standards).
  • Fran Tarkenton – “Fran the Man” was CEO of the great 1970s Vikings teams.

Minnesota Vikings Talking Points

NFC Title Jinx

The Vikings first conference championship games went well, with three wins and a league championship in 1969. But from there on the team has been winless in conference title games. Since 1977, the team has lost six in a row. The wound is still fresh from last year’s NFC Championship game loss against the Philadelphia Eagles, who would go on to win Super Bowl LII.

A Franchise QB?

The Vikings have struggled over the years to establish a franchise quarterback for the team. The players who maintained the position for any length of time are few: Fran Tarkenton, Tommy Kramer, Duante Culpepper… and that’s about it. Injury and ineptitude have taken down both longshot hopefuls and heirs to the throne. Last season, the team jettisoned Sam Bradford and number one draft pick Teddy Bridgewater in favor of Kirk Cousins. The team has gone all-in with Cousins, who at 29 has the potential to become a long-term solution at QB.

The Vikings helmet: Did the Vikings really have horns?

Well, no not really. Contrary to modern myth, Vikings from Scandinavia did not have horns on their helmets. Instead, Viking warriors used leather or iron helmets for protection in battle. Depicting Vikings with horned helmets dates back to the 1800s when artists took liberties and exaggerated styles to add drama to their work.

Names from the past you should know

  • Max Winter – Minneapolis businessman Max Winter had the perfect name for ownership of the Vikings. He was the original owner of the team in 1960 until 1989. The longtime Eden Prairie, Minnesota practice facility was named Winter Park in his honor. Beginning in 2018, the team moved its base of operations to Eagan.
  • Bud Grant – Bud Grant was an exceptional athlete before becoming the iconic head coach of the Vikings. He was a three-sport athlete at the University of Minnesota. Grant played basketball professionally for the Minneapolis Lakers. He played football in the NFL for the Philadelphia Eagles and later for the Winnepeg Blue Bombers of the CFL. The NFL Coach of the Year in 1969 had a career winning percentage of .607 (168-108-5).
  • Fran Tarkenton – Tarkenton played in the NFL for 18 seasons, leading the Vikings to three NFC championships but losing each of the ensuing Super Bowls. Fran was adept at scrambling and escaping impossible situations on the field. He racked up 3,674 rushing yards by using his feet to evade tacklers.

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Recent Stars

  • Randy Moss – Randy Moss fell to the Vikings in the 1998 NFL Draft because of character concerns. He never forgot the perceived slight by the teams that passed him up. He used it as motivation to achieve what few receivers had ever done before. The Hall of Famer would go on to catch 982 balls for 15,292 yards and 156 touchdowns over his career.
  • Adrian Peterson – The Oklahoma Sooner rushing star was drafted seventh overall by the Vikings in 2007. In his first pro season, he set an NFL record for most rushing yards in a single game (296). He was named Rookie of the Year and in 2012 he was awarded the league MVP. Peterson become the third fastest player to reach 10,000 rushing yards in NFL history.

Players to Watch Now

Adam Thielen – Adam Thielen is the underdog of underdogs. He walked-on to the Vikings roster after playing under the radar at Minnesota State University in Mankato, MN. It took him another four years before earning a starting position on the Vikings. Now he is part of a receiving core (along with Stefon Diggs) that ranks among the best in the league.

Kirk Cousins – Kirk Cousins was drafted out of Michigan State as a backup to Robert Griffin III in Washington. Last off season Cousins was traded to the Vikings as their new starting quarterback. Time will tell what Cousins can do with an established and talented team at his hands, supported by a stifling defense to keep every game within reach.

Stefon Diggs – The fifth-rounder out of Maryland got national attention with his Minneapolis Miracle catch from Case Keenum in the 2017 season playoff game against the New Orleans Saints. But Diggs had established himself as one of the league’s best receivers way before that. His skill set includes catching balls in tight windows. In 2017 he had the best catch rate for contested balls among all receivers in the league.

Current Viking Coach

Coach Mike Zimmer has been coaching Minnesota since January 16, 2014. He has brought an emphasis on defense back to the team and they now rank consistantly as one of the top defensive teams in the league. Zimmer’s record with the team is 39-25, a good start to his head-coaching career.

Who owns the Minnesota Vikings?

The Vikes’ ownership team is lead by Zygmunt “Zygi” Wilf and includes his brother Mark Wilf. The Wilfs come from a business background in commercial property development, focusing mostly on shopping centers, large malls and apartment rentals. Zygi Wilf’s net worth is estimated to be $5.3 billion.

Minnesota Vikings Fantasy Football Team Names

  • Can You Diggs It.
  • Rhodes Closed.
  • Rudolph the Red Zone Reindeer.
  • Age of Latavius.
  • Hooked on a Thielen.

Check out these other Fantasy Football Team Names for 2108.

Viking Quotes

  • “Straight cash, homey.”
    Randy Moss
  • “There is a new sheriff in town.”
    Dennis Green
  • “A good football coach needs a patient wife, a loyal dog and a great quarterback—but not necessarily in that order.”
    Bud Grant

See other great football quotes and sayings.

Best Vikings Joke

When I die, I want six Viking players to be pallbearers at my funeral. That way they can let me down one final time.

See more football jokes and humor.

Viking Newspapers

StarTribune

Pioneer Press

Where do the Vikings Play?

The Vikingss play at US Bank Stadium, newly built and opened in 2016. The stadium is enclosed but features both a translucent roof and wall panels that let in the sun. Additionally, the large pivoting doors can be opened on fair-weather days.

The crowd capacity is 66,655 people. US Bank Stadium was host to Super Bowl LII on February 4, 2018 (Philadelphia Eagles defeated New England Patriots 41-33).

How to Get Vikings Tickets

  • For single games, try the NFL Ticket Exchange powered by TicketMaster.
  • For group tickets – 20 or more people, try Group Seating.

2018-2019 Minnesota Viking Schedule

Minnesota Vikings Preseason Schedule

8/11 Vikings at Denver Broncos

8/18 Jacksonville Jaguars at Vikings

8/24 Seattle Seahawks at Vikings

8/30 Vikings at Tennessee Titans

Minnesota Vikings Regular Season Schedule

September Games

9/9 San Francisco 49ers at Vikings

9/16 Vikings at Green Bay Packers

9/23 Buffalo Bills at Vikings

9/27 Vikings at Los Angeles Rams

October Games

10/7 Vikings at Philadelphia Eagles

10/14 Arizona Cardinals at Vikings

10/21 Vikings at New York Jets

10/28 New Orleans Saints at Vikings

November Games

11/4 Detroit Lions at Vikings

11/11 Bye Week

11/18 Vikings at Chicago Bears

11/25 Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings

December Games

12/2 Vikings at New England Patriots

12/10 Vikings at Seattle Seahawks

12/16 Miami Dolphins at Vikings

12/23 Vikings at Detroit Lions

12/30 Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings

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By Greg Johnson

The sting of Super Bowl defeats was a familiar ritual to a young Viking fan in the 1970s. So began the lifelong love of Minnesota Viking football for Greg Johnson, a native Minnesotan who’s followed the team through ups and downs. Ever hopeful, he continues to bleed purple and gold. Skol Vikings! 

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